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first time tenant move out LL threatening to sue pls help

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first time tenant move out LL threatening to sue pls help

Postby coralmar » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:32 pm

I am very concerned my LL will take me to court because I don't have the resources to hire a lawyer. He has been hyperbolic and aggressive before, and I can't tell if this is further harassment/manipulation. I know now that we should have been there, and had him sign an agreement on what of the security deposit was expected to return, but as previously stated this is my first apartment.
I've been living in a brooklyn apartment for the past two years. We just moved out on the 31st, and our landlord is claiming the basement door was left wide open. A person ,then, allegedly trespassed and assaulted his wife. He was able to intervene before anything happened, however he used that as an opportunity to threaten to sue us for trauma caused to his wife as well as other damages caused to the apartment. However, he does not have any proof of excessive damage and the tenants moved in the next day. I told him we weren't responsible for the space after the 31st, but he's saying because we had a set of the keys, we were responsible. I can't find any precedence for that being the case, but I'm sure someone here might know better than me.
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Re: first time tenant move out LL threatening to sue pls hel

Postby TenantNet » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:59 pm

I'm assuming you are not rent stab. Usually LL's will take tenants to court if a) you haven't paid rent, or b) you are violating your lease or creating a nuisance. Whether or not you can hire a lawyer is often not the LLs concern. But how would the LL know whether or not you can afford a lawyer? You didn't tell him, did you? Learn that there is a lot you should not say to the LL.

You leave out a lot of detail, so we really can't respond to your question fully.

An open basement door - whether it was you or not who left it open (and don't admit to it one way or another) - does not make you liable for the alleged assault on the LL's wife. Having keys does not create liability on your part for the assault. If you haven't returned the keys, the LL might claim you have not returned possession to him. But your post is unclear when you say new tenants moved in. He can't say you still had possession when he re-rented the place. Either you still had possession, or the LL had possession and was able to let new tenants in.

A LL may legitimately withhold parts of a security deposit if there are provable damages, not wear and tear.

But the LL would not be taking you to court; he would simply take the money from your deposit. You would have to take the LL to court (or go to the AG's office) to get your deposit back.
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Re: first time tenant move out LL threatening to sue pls hel

Postby coralmar » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:11 pm

The apartment wasn't rent stabilized. No, he doesn't know I can't afford a lawyer. I'm only saying it here to elaborate on my anxiety. What other information would be useful?
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